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In an unsigned statement issued late Thursday, USA Cycling said it would request a review and consider an appeal of a recent Colorado appeals court decision upholding a legal challenge of the organization’s attempt to “streamline” its bylaws two years ago.
The court ruled that a lawsuit filed by former U.S. Cycling Federation trustee Les Earnest rightly pointed out that USA Cycling’s board of directors had not fully justified their use of “emergency” provisions in its attempt to implement 24 pages of bylaw changes without submitting them for review by the membership of its affiliate organizations, including the USCF, NORBA, USPRO and the NBL. See “Colorado appeals court overturns USAC decision”.
Immediately after the decision was handed down, USA Cycling attorney Barton Enoch said he was preparing a memo outlining the organization’s legal options, which would include dropping the case, asking the appeals court to review its own decision or appealing to the Colorado Supreme Court.
The following is the full text of a statement issued through the press office of USA Cycling on Thursday, March 8, 2001.
USA CYCLING OFFICIAL STATEMENT: Earnest, et. al. v. USA Cycling, Inc.,et. al.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 8, 2001) – USA Cycling was notified that a Colorado appeals court has overturned a lower court decision in favor of USA Cycling in the Earnest, et. al. v. USA Cycling, Inc., et. al. lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, past USCF Board of Trustee member Les Earnest challenged changes to USA Cycling bylaws passed in February 1999. At the time, a modernized and streamlined set of bylaws was adopted by the board with a 10-1 vote.
The changes put into affect gave the Board of Directors the right to amend the USA Cycling bylaws and articles of incorporation, which could not be accomplished by a vote of the members due to the fact a quorum has never been achieved in the USA Cycling membership voting process.Association members still elect members to their respective Board of Trustees, some of which sit on the USA Cycling Board of Directors.
USA Cycling will request reconsideration by the Court of Appeals and if necessary, appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court. The ruling of the Court of Appeals will not become effective until 45 days after it was entered on March 1, 2001. This time frame will be extended if a reconsideration or appeal to Colorado Supreme Court is pending.
If the ruling remains unchanged, the case will be referred back to the trial court for further proceedings, which will presumably include a review what actions taken by the board since the amended bylaws became effective would be void. In the meantime, we will review with the boardagain, adopting the amended bylaws in a manner consistent with the Court of Appeals decision.